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Marion E. Toscano, Ralph L. Piedmont, Ph.D., Kari A. O’Grady, Ph.D., Jesse D. Fox. Ph.D., Michael M. Kocet, Ph.D.

Risks to Self-Acceptance in the LGBTQ Community

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Quantitative research on LGBTQ issues tends to focus on internalized homophobia as a main predictor for negative affect. However, new research indicates that there is more to psychological well-being in LGBTQ persons than just individual aspects. For many LGBTQ individuals, hiding or rejecting their sexual/gender identity is not about self-contempt or self-hatred, but about concerns of safety or loss of relationships; yet, this has not been discussed in the quantitative literature thus far.

It is due to this gap in the research on self-acceptance in the LGBTQ community that a new measure was created. The Risks to Self-Acceptance - Sexual and Gender Identity (RSA-SGI) scale has been designed to address the three main areas in which LGBTQ individuals may struggle with self-acceptance: Lack of Self-Acceptance, Lack of Safety, and Fear of Abandonment. The goal of the scale is to provide a reliable and valid measure that has a more articulated view of the social stressors LGBTQ individuals experience when dealing with acceptance, or lack thereof, of their sexual/gender minority identity. The overall purpose and goal for the RSA-SGI is to increase the effectiveness of interventions with LGBTQ individuals and to influence how counselors understand and work with LGBTQ individuals and the community.

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